A broker-dealer’s primary business is trading securities for its own account or on behalf of its customers. Although many broker-dealers are “independent” firms solely involved in broker-dealer services, many others are business units or subsidiaries of commercial banks, investment banks, or investment companies. When executing trade orders on behalf of a customer, the institution is said to be acting as a “broker”. When executing trades for its own account, the institution is said to be acting as a “dealer”. Many broker-dealers choose to undergo a SSAE 16 audit as a way to provide transparency to their internal controls.